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Sunburn Remedies: Take the "Burn" Out of the Sun

5 minutes read Jun 30,2019
Sunburn Remedies: Take the

The dreaded sunburn. While the warm summer sunshine brings us outside for swimming, carnivals, biking, camping, and fishing, it can also burn us...literally. But never fear, there are plenty of remedies available to take the sting out of the burn.

Sunburn solutions work to relieve the pain and discomfort that sunburns cause. Read on for helpful tips and natural solutions to heal and protect sun-damaged skin.

Sunburn Remedies That Really Work

1. Drink Water: Hydrate from the Inside Out

Sounds obvious, right? Many of us, however, don't drink nearly enough to replenish the liquids our bodies have lost. Especially when we feel miserable!

Sunburns severely dehydrate skin. And nothing counteracts dehydration like good ol' H2O! Keep a bottle of ice cold water on hand to help your body heal faster.

2. Add a Splash of Vinegar

Applying a vinegar solution to sunburned skin is a tried and true sunburn remedy. A natural astringent, apple cider vinegar soothes the pain and speeds up the healing process. Additionally, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps ease itching and inflammation.

Here are a few ways to use vinegar as a sunburn remedy:

  • Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and cool water. Then soak paper towels in the solution and place them over the affected areas. Leave the paper towels on until they are dry, then gently remove them. You can repeat the process several times a day for a few days.
  • Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bath and soak for about half an hour.
  • Put unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle to spritz onto your skin. Alternatively, you can soak cotton balls in unfiltered cider vinegar, apply to the skin, and let them dry. This works best after a water only shower; soap will dry out your skin further.
black tea sunburn remedy

3. Kitchen Cures

Cucumber Chill Out

Nothing gives better instant relief from sunburned skin than chilled cucumbers. The coolness of the cucumber is quite soothing to the skin. Additionally, its antioxidants and analgesic properties promote healing.

Instant Relief: Slice a chilled cucumber and lay the slices on any sunburned areas. Flip the slices after the first side heats up, like flipping your pillow to the cool side.

Lasting Relief: Put one or two chilled cucumbers in a blender to create a paste. You can add aloe vera gel or cornstarch to create a thicker paste. Apply this mixture directly to sunburned areas.

Get Cultured with Yogurt

Though a strange sunburn remedy, plain yogurt with active cultures contains probiotics and enzymes that help heal skin. Note that it must be plain yogurt that has probiotics. Flavored yogurts may irritate your skin further.

Make sure your hands are clean and apply the yogurt directly to the burn. Let it sit for at least five minutes. When the pain has subsided, gently rinse the yogurt off with cool or lukewarm water.

Tea Time

Rich in antioxidants, black tea has been used for years to treat irritated and damaged skin, such as sunburns. Soak several tea bags in cool water and allow the tannins to release. You'll know this when the water darkens substantially, indicating that the tea bags and water are ready to apply.

You can apply the tea bags directly to your skin, which can be useful in sensitive areas like eyelids. A cloth can also be soaked in the water to gently pat this solution on sunburned skin. Black tea will remove the heat, pain, and stinging quite quickly. Plus, the tannins released will reduce inflammation, help protect skin from UV rays, and aid in restoring the skin's pH balance.

Root for Potatoes

Well-known as a pain reliever for skin irritations, potatoes reduce inflammation and draw heat from your skin. To use them as a sunburn remedy, take two clean potatoes and grate them in a bowl. Or you can cut them up and blitz them in a blender or food processor. If the potato mush seems dry, add a little water.

Soak cotton balls or gauze in the mixture, then apply to sunburned areas, changing the dressings every hour. Continue applying several times a day until the pain is relieved.

4. Moisturize with Chilly Treatments

We've mentioned that sunburns dehydrate your skin, but those cooling soaks in the tub can can actually dehydrate you further. Use gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer to counteract this side effect. Be sure to apply regularly, especially right after you soak or bathe. You can also chill your moisturizer  in the refrigerator before use for added relief.

aloe vera for sunburns

5. Aloe Vera: It's What's for Sunburns

Probably the most popular sunburn remedy, aloe vera has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. The most popular method of application is the gel form of aloe vera that you find in most stores. However, you can also use an aloe vera plant directly. Simply break open the leaves and squeeze out the healing liquid within. We recommend chilling this gelatinous substance for at least an hour before applying.

The application works the same for both store-bought products and plants. Apply a light coating of chilled aloe vera gel onto any sunburned areas. Though it may feel shockingly cold, allow it to dry so your skin fully absorbs the beneficial elements.

6. Soothing Soaks

Baking Soda Bath

Soothe the burn in a cool bath with a few heaping tablespoons of baking soda mixed in. Soak for about 15 to 20 minutes. Try not to soak for longer than 20 minutes to avoid drying your skin out further.

After you emerge from your soak, resist the urge to towel dry. Instead, let your skin air dry to absorb the baking powder solution into your skin. The alkaline in the baking soda soothes sunburned skin and has antiseptic properties to relieve that itchy sensation.

Oatmeal Bath

They make a healthy breakfast and a great natural sunburn remedy. Plain rolled oats can be soaked in cool or lukewarm bathwater to quickly heal your sunburn. The polysaccharides in oatmeal will coat and heal your skin, helping lock in moisture so your skin stays hydrated.

To use oats for a sunburn, fill a clean cotton tube sock with two cups of plain, uncooked rolled oats. Tie off the top of the sock, making sure to knot it tight so the oats don't spill in the tub. Place the sock full of oats in the bathwater, soaking for a few minutes. After soaking, squeeze the sock to release the polysaccharides – the water will start to appear cloudy.

While you're soaking in the bath, squeeze the sock every few minutes to continue releasing the healing oatmeal. Your skin may feel somewhat slick, which is a good thing. After about 30 minutes, allow yourself to air dry or pat gently with a soft towel.  

We hope these natural sunburn remedies help you during your next accident with the sun. Remember that prevention is better than any healing method, so slap on some sunscreen before venturing out! If you found these sunburn tips helpful, consider sharing with your friends on social media. There are sure to be a few who could use these solutions!  

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